The Bishop of Dorking, Jo Wells, has been enrolled as a member of the Mothers’ Union during a recent meeting of members and trustees.
Bishop Jo was one of more than 100 ladies from across the diocese who attended the MU annual members meeting at All Saints Church Hall in Woodham. She and the MU’s diocesan treasurer, Steve Moore, were enrolled by its diocesan chaplain, Jackie Richardson. They join Bishop Andrew in membership of the Mothers’ Union.
On becoming a member, Bishop Jo said: “I’m thrilled to be part of the Mothers’ Union in Guildford. I join you as a wife and a mother as well as your bishop.
“You might be interested to know that, of the 10 female bishops currently in the Church of England, I’m the only one who has school-aged children. That’s quite a responsibility – not least to demonstrate that it’s possible to be a mother and a bishop at the same time!
“Sam and I delight in the juggle of ministry and family – so often children are the gift that puts all the rest in perspective. But I also want to say to you how deeply I understand my parenting to inform my ministry. The two vocations go hand-in-hand; as I see it, my faithfulness and effectiveness as a mother shapes my faithfulness and effectiveness as your bishop.”
Antonia Wilson, president for the MU in the Diocese of Guildford, said: “I am delighted to welcome Bishop Jo as an MU member. We look forward very much to her joining our services and mission work around the diocese in the coming years.”
Bishop Jo added to the day’s agenda of table presentations on topics such as advocacy and campaigning, communications, parenting, and action and outreach, by giving an address after midday prayers. She spoke warmly of her experiences so far of the MU in Guildford Diocese – attending the summer party in August and one branch's 100th birthday celebrations in November – and of her earliest encounter with MU while volunteering at a mission hospital in South Africa as a student.
“Strangely enough I have more experience of the Mothers’ Union elsewhere in the world than I do in England. In particular I recall the experience in South Africa, of a gathering of about 3000 women, all scrubbed up and shining in their MU uniforms, gathered together for a festival of praise and prayer, sharing each other’s lives and reminding each other how to live that life for Jesus.”
After the meeting closed there was an opportunity for members and trustees to meet Bishop Jo more informally over a picnic lunch.
Antonia added: “I would say on behalf of all MU members in the Diocese of Guildford what a pleasure it has been to share this occasion with Bishop Jo and to enrol her into MU membership."